...or Keren Tells a Story

That right there is me speaking in a video. Here's the link if the video is giving any problems.

Our final presentations from my summer program (DDCSP@UW) were called our "stories". Each member in my cohort spent hours coming up with the story we wanted people to know about ourselves and what we learned over the eight weeks. I loved that they gave us the chance to tell people a little bit about ourselves but writing a story was more difficult than I expected. I almost wanted to do an academic presentation because it's easier to be detached and just get the facts out. When I worked on my story it took a lot more out of me than I thought it would.

A little bit on how I pulled this together. I started the first part last year in response to a lot of the violence against black people. It hit me pretty hard that no matter who I marry, my children will be black, and in the US, there are some scary things associated with that fact. I also got the idea of speaking to my unborn children after listening to "If I should have a daughter" by Sarah Kay. I didn't think to include the poem for my final presentation but I had a hard time pulling my story together. I realized that I couldn't give my story without considering my family and how I was raised. 

After many hours of writing and editing and reading out loud and doubting and rewriting, I finished my story. I will not underestimate the importance of rehearsing because there's no way I would have been as relaxed as I was speaking to an audience of about 40 people. I also could not have done it without the support of my cohort (check out other people's videos here) or Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika who came to Seattle and helped us with our stories.

I think it's fitting that my last post brings my DDCSP experience full circle. I was a bit skeptical about sharing it but it's already on the Internet so I may as well add it to my corner of the Internet. 

Thanks to everyone who reads my words. As much as this is a space for me to share my thoughts - I wouldn't be posting them to a blog if I didn't want other people to read. I hope you enjoy the last days of 2015 and I'll see you next year.

Thanks for reading and listening,

Belated Merry Christmas if you celebrate Christmas. I realize that I didn't mention any other holidays in previous posts and it's for the mostly self-centered reason that I don't celebrate them. I'll try to be better about that next year. It's the last weekend in 2015 and it would be nice for me to have a gorgeous summary but Sunday night at 10 isn't the best time for me to be too deep or introspective. For now I'll keep it simple and get on with my last (!) Sunday Currently for 2015.

Reading Afro State of Mind: Memoirs of Nappy Headed Black Girl by Lurie Daniel Favors. (Here's the link to her website.) I got this book earlier this year when Lurie came to school and spoke about her natural hair journey. It was a great experience to meet her and listen to what she had to say. It got me thinking a lot more about how I think about my hair. Check my blog post here.

Writing Nothing really.

Listening "IV. Sweatpants" by Childish Gambino because sometimes you need to tell the haters not to be upset because, "I'm doing me better than you're doing you".

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Hi all,

As of today, I have been free from academic commitments for three days. In case you had a burning desire to know. You know those moments when you think back and wonder if things were ever as bad/good/funny/awkward as they felt at the time? I'm having one right now. But I can't really tell you the answer. I may/may not reread parts of my journal, but for now, I'll just do the list.

Reading A book called 50 Artists You Should Know by Thomas Köster. When I finish I'll tell you why I think they think I should know these people.

Writing Nothing at the moment but I do need to sit down and write a few emails.

Listening "To the Dreamers" by For King and Country

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Wah gwaan?

Real talk, I've been in the library for too long (I had to set up a motivational corner - the monkey and card) and I need to leave soon. But if I don't do this now, I'll end up scrambling at elven-fifty-something to get it in before midnight.

Oh! Fun fact about my life - my computer is back! I rely on it a lot more than I thought and I am very happy that I have it again.

Reading Nothing now. I got tired of working on my paper so I'm taking a break from reading for a while.

Writing Ditto for writing.

Listening "Gracious Tempest" by Hillsong

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Hi friends,

I don't have many words to say right now so here's a photo of the state of my desk. (And aren't our desks just a representation of our lives? lol. Calm down Keren.) Right then - on to the list.

Reading Nothing because I'm heading to bed. Even though I did read Psalm 16 earlier and I felt like that reflects what I'm feeling/what I need to hear.

Writing My schedule for tomorrow.

Listening "All the Poor and Powerless" by All Sons & Daughters.

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...but not really - I just didn't know where to find anything.

The counter was a mess once I finished - I don't how food bloggers make it seem so easy and clean
The roommate and I made some banana bread a few weeks ago. I must have felt a lot fancier than I realized because last week I decided to bake a cake. What follows is my account of the endeavour and the sheer innovation (or stubbornness) that comes when you've already committed to making it but don't have the right ingredients.

The Recipe: Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

My Version: Slightly Shambly Roasted Blueberry-Tangerine-Chocolate Chip Cake

I learned that:

Baking in a kitchen you're unfamiliar is like [insert witty analogy here or just say "is frustrating"].

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